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Potty Training an Older Child

I have a 6 year old boy who refuses to poop on the potty, he will pee in it just fine. When it comes to pooping he will hide and go in his pants. I have tried everything from bribery, taking favorite things away, time out, candy, money, toys, cleaning himself up, and washing out his underwear. I have tried gating him in the bathroom, making him sit on it after school, and talking to his Dr.


My Dr. said everything I have tried should have worked. He normally doesn't do it at school. I am at my wits end. He will go if he wants something, but after he gets it he will poop in his pants. He will push a little out in the toilet and as soon as he sees you are busy he will go hide and do it in his underwear. He will do it in the bathroom in front of the toilet, but not in it. If anyone could please help me, I will be very happy. Thank you.

By Stacey from Ludington, MI


Potty Training an Older Child

Try getting a stool for his feet that will put his knees a little above his bottom when he is on the toilet. He can push down and that will make his bowels move easier. I learned this by accident with my son many years ago.
Hope this will be a help.

By jsham

Potty Training an Older Child

Dr Phil talked about this on his show once. He said when it comes to kids, you can't control what goes in their mouths and you can't control when and what comes out the other end. Some kids are just stubborn and it's their way of showing you they're in control. My grandson was probably 8 years old and still doing this. He will quit, but only when he gets ready unless it happens to be a medical problem which sounds like it's not. If I were you I'd probably try not to make too big of an issue of it. I think boys just don't care how much they stink or what others think. My grandson didn't. (06/07/2010)


By TXBetty

Potty Training an Older Child

I know you said you talked to the Dr., but was he ever checked for internal tears or any other medical problem? We had this problem with our son and granddaughters. They would hold it for days. They were checked and had tears. It seems that when they stand to go they have more control of the pain. I guess it smooshes it more. I know gross. We gave them mineral oil and it seemed to soften the stools and soon they realize it doesn't hurt anymore and they go on the potty. Good luck!

EJin PA (06/08/2010)

By momx2

Potty Training an Older Child

If there is nothing physically wrong with him and he's not constipated (making it hurt to go), then I would say this is a control issue. My middle child (who was then the youngest), had leukemia as a toddler. When it came to potty training he absolutely refused to use it no matter what we tried. We finally had a Dr. who told us it was a control issue because he felt so out of control in the rest of his life with everything that was being done to him, that this was the only thing he could control. So we left him alone until a month before he started preschool at 4 1/2. I had already explained that he couldn't go to school if he didn't use the potty, but it didn't help. Finally I took him to the store to buy his pull-ups and told him it was the last package I was buying and when they were gone he had to wear "big boy pants". A couple of times with dirty/wet underwear and he was "trained".


I know this won't work if you son doesn't care if he is rewarded or has to clean up after himself, etc. He knows better and can control himself, or he would do the same thing at school. I think the more of a struggle there is, the more he's going to resist you, he is controlling this situation and possibly pushing your buttons also.

My suggestion would be to take a really careful look at what is going on in his life right now and see if there is anything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that is frightening, upsetting, or stressful to him. Any changes in family life or with family members or friends? What about school, any changes there? It could also be school itself, that can be very stressful and frightening to kids even when they are excited about it, not to mention they are always being told what to do there. Did he go to day care or preschool? Sometimes just leaving mom and going to school can trigger some things.


Also, maybe if you let him make as many choices for himself, give him a couple of choices in clothes he wears, pjs, snacks, activities, etc. Let him feel he has a little more control in his life, it might help.

The opposite could be true also. Does he have all the control? I have met parents who are good intentioned, but allow their young children to do whatever they want with no restrictions or limits. Those children will act out also and are begging for someone else to take some control of their lives.

Obviously this is a very stressful situation for you and I can sure understand that. But the more upset and stressed you are, the more control your son has over the situation. Take a deep breath and regroup, come up with another plan. Here is what I would maybe try:


He knows he can "poop" just a bit for a reward, so stop rewarding him. Stop bribing him, don't threaten him. Take as much stress from the situation away as you can. He's old enough to understand and reason with. Explain to him that you are tired of fighting with him over it. Remind him that "big" kids and adults don't ever potty in their pants and they don't get rewarded for using the toilet, it's just something you have to do. Tell him firmly and calmly that if he wants to act like a baby and poop in his pants, then he has to wear a diaper like a baby. If he says he doesn't want to, give him a chance to try, but if he continues, then go buy diapers or plain training pull-ups (nothing cute!) and make him wear them when he is not at school (he seems to control himself with no problem there and you don't want to embarrass him). If he argues, don't make it sound like a punishment, just firmly and calmly re-explain that babies who poop in their pants have to wear diapers until they learn not to.


This could work, unless the issue is that it's hard to be a "big boy" at school and he needs to be a "baby" at home, in which case it could make it worse.

Also, don't be afraid to talk to the counselor at your son's school, they could give you some good suggestions. A therapist could help also if the situation isn't a physical problem.
Good luck, I know this is rough, but don't be embarrassed or beat yourself over it, try to stay calm and see if the situation can be resolved with time and the advice of all the wise people here and around you.

Too bad things can't always be easy when raising your kids. I had a cousin who tried everything they could think of to break their son of his "binky", even taking him to a psychiatrist. At age 5 his teeth were becoming crooked when my grannie went to visit. She looked him in the eye and said "If you don't suck on that thing anymore, I'll give you $20 when I come back to visit". He threw the thing away and when she came back 6 months later, he proudly collected his $20 bill! LOL!


By lyonpridej

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